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About Pat


Growing up in a very Southern style household, meals were served as offerings of love.  Mother fostered that love of cooking in me at a young age.  My offerings were carried with pride to the family table to be judged by my father who had a big laugh and a twinkle in his eye.

I attended college wanting to be a dietitian but marriage loomed near and Dad reminded me that I needed a skill that would put food on the table before I entertained marriage and thus I switched to secretarial.  But I never forgot my love of cooking.

Over the years, I have been the Food Service Director at Sandia View Academy in New Mexico and the last 24 years as the Food Service Director at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska.  In the between times I started a catering business, mostly to keep my young children entertained and out of trouble, which flourished and eventually dovetailed into the Union College food service.

Catering was my passion in life and setting the stage, making a splash and wowing guests really was delightful.  During my tenure at Union, I helped design the new Market Style Union Market which was my pride and joy.   I retired June 30, 2009 but my love of good food didn’t.  Now I have the time to publish a cookbook with my favorites.  I’m in the phase of making each recipe and taking pictures, most of which will be posted here.

Most of my posts are also printed in the Columbia Dailey Tribune where I am considered a guest writer.

41 Comments leave one →
  1. Earlene Wohlers permalink
    October 6, 2009 2:27 am

    This is absolutely fantastic! I am so glad you are doing this – it will be great. Makes my mouth water.

  2. October 6, 2009 4:29 am

    You need to tell the story about the “cinnamon rolls for camp meeting at Auburn” Two ovens separated by the entire boys dorm. Running back and forth. Your mom helping and also insisting that bran muffins be made so the whole campground would not be constipated. 1975 I think. The sweet rolls were a hit. But I don’t remember that you and Earlene ever tried it again.

    I remember Eola saying after she ate at your place soon after you were married. “and she puts apple sauce in the gravy”

    • October 6, 2009 5:00 pm

      Oh my, you bring up such fun memories. I came across my mother’s handwritten recipe for the cinnamon rolls when I moved. The old saying goes ” Adversity makes Memories”! We worked ourselves to death but we really had fun, didn’t we!

  3. Chiqui Gustavsson permalink
    November 9, 2009 6:22 am

    Let me know when your cookbook is published. It will be an honor to have it in my kitchen and think of you whenever I use it!

  4. Jaklin Callow permalink
    January 23, 2010 12:32 am

    Yes, count me to for a book!!! We spent many years at Wallowa also..My uncle Clyde Harris had a cabin there and our Dr..

  5. February 11, 2010 6:18 pm

    Well, looks I’m still new at this, Jaklin, I posted a reply to your comment on the home page. I hope you found it. I’m going to learn how to do this someday! ;-}

  6. February 21, 2010 6:31 am

    Absolutely love your new venture, Pat. Think I gained 2 pounds just reading the recipes.
    Always looking for a good one and I know yours are terrific. How well I remember the wonderful sopaipillas you made for Renaissance Fair the second year we were at Union. So many great memories. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thomas A. Lorren Jr. permalink
    March 22, 2010 12:02 pm

    Everytime that mother would go shopping in La Grange,she would bring home a lemon cake and it was devoired in one setting Sharon,Larry,Pattie and Me ,could really make shambles of any table of food that was left unguarded.Tommy

  8. Sue Shawler permalink
    April 27, 2010 3:30 pm

    I will also be eager for the finish of your book since I am an avid cookbook collector! Funny how I never knew you loved to cook. Of course, we didn’t have much chance at UCA to cook. Be sure to include some vegan recipes if you have some. That has become my preferred style of eating.


    Hi Sue, Yes I do have vegan recipes and I’ll get there sometime soon. Watch for the Tofu “Meatballs” as they are vegan and so yummy! I don’t remember there even being a kitchen in the dorm . . . not that I looked for one! I worked in the cafe and had all my cooking needs met. If you had cottage cheese loaf . . . that was me mixing them up in the back! Fun memories.


  9. Vicki Rutherford permalink
    July 21, 2010 6:56 pm

    My Aunt Patti (worked in the Union cafeteria with you) has introduced me to your blog/web page here! I am SO excited! This is exactly something I would love to do if I weren’t teaching full time (7th grade at an SDA school, Auburn, WA).

    Your peach cheesecake recipe is very similar to something my mother used to make in the ’60s. It was a “cheesecake” of sorts, but I know she didn’t have to bake it, and I don’t think she would have gone to as much trouble as your wonderful recipe involves. But it was a gelatin/cream cheese based dessert, light and fluffy, and I believe the flavor was always based on the flavor of jello she used. I’ve been wanting the recipe for that dessert, but this one sounds even tastier AND with fresh fruit!

    Have you tried it with other fruits? Strawberries, cherries, etc.? How do they work?

    • July 21, 2010 7:44 pm

      So fun to hear from you. Your Aunt Patti is very special to me, such a fabulous cook!

      Isn’t it fun how food bring back memories. I wonder if my Mom’s recipe came before the invention of Jello? What a fun thought.

  10. Gary Patterson permalink
    January 3, 2011 5:57 pm

    Found your site by googling mock salmon cheese, what a suprise to find your recipe and picture. Glad I found this site will come back to it often. Good luck on the cookbook.

    • January 3, 2011 7:24 pm

      Welcome, Gary. I’m glad you found me.

  11. January 23, 2011 2:53 am

    I am so glad that I found your blog ~ I now wonder how? I had so much fun reading your words and your food, each sounds so wonderful and the pictures are ~ each and all invites me to try, I look forward to following you and your blog….RaeDi

    • January 23, 2011 3:02 am

      Thanks for finding me too! I’ve had a look at your site as well and it looks like I need to pick a quiet morning with a cup of coffee to enjoy all that you have written. I will indulge soon!

  12. Cheryl Crawford permalink
    February 28, 2011 8:35 pm

    I’m so thrilled to find your site! Love the recipes. I remember and miss all the wonderful catering you did while in Lincoln. I’ll look forward to reading more……….

    • February 28, 2011 10:15 pm

      Good to hear from you, Cheryl. It’s only been a couple of years but it seems so long ago. It was a pleasure to cook for you and to make sure you had safe food. Draught those peanuts!!

  13. Nancy permalink
    March 1, 2011 4:17 am

    I made the Madrid Lentils, we loved them. I have cooked lentils for years but these are the best I added more carrots and a little more salt. Miss you in Lincoln.

    • March 1, 2011 4:40 pm

      So glad you tried them. This recipe is a keeper!

  14. Pat Phillips permalink
    June 8, 2011 1:06 am

    I grew up in Loma Linda with the Coconut wheat sticks…except we called them dog biscuits. Oh, the memories.

    • June 8, 2011 1:18 am

      How funny! I love the name, goes right along with one of my favorite munch food, Puppy Chow! Katherine Boyd published the recipe in her little red book. Goes to show that the simple things make memories. Good to hear from you!

  15. June 12, 2011 11:20 pm

    Pat, I want to know when the recipe book is finished, too. I am lining up with everyone else to get one. I love you and miss you ALOT!! Thanks for making food something fun and enjoyable again for me!!

    • June 12, 2011 11:34 pm

      I Crystle (yes, my favorite way of spelling your name!), I may get a book finished someday but right now I’m content to reach my goal of 100 recipes posted. Someday!

  16. Judy McAlexander Jenner permalink
    June 27, 2011 12:30 am

    Pat, I s-o-o love your recipes! Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift of good food. I’m from Pendleton and remember you and the Lorren family well. My sisters, brother and I were all raised in a Southern family, too, and some of your recipes remind me of the foods our mother prepared for us. Don’t know if you remember the McAlexanders and the Jenners, but that’s who we are. Keep up the great work. Can’t wait to get your recipe book, if you do one!

    • June 27, 2011 12:58 am

      Hi Judy, Thank you for your note. Oh my, I must sit down and start to go through the people in the Pendleton church. I’m sure I will eventually remember. It’s been so long ago. Often I have wished that the churches did photo directories back then so I could look back. As far as producing a cookbook, I’ve always said that when I hit 100 recipes it will be time for a book. I’m half way there!

      • Judy McAlexander Jenner permalink
        June 27, 2011 3:50 am

        Hi Pat, Thanks for responding to my blog. You were (unfortunately) a few grades ahead of me in school. Your Uncle Ed was my dad’s boss at HPM; and when Ed either left or was promoted, my dad got his position. My mother-in-law was the payroll clerk for HPM for years and years, based in Pendleton. Yes, it has been a ‘few’ years. Glad to hear you are half way to the point of creating your cookbook. Will be watching, waiting and salivating!!

  17. Denise Jenkins Hickey permalink
    November 15, 2011 9:14 pm

    Your recipe for the Cherry Tomato and pesto Galettes made my mouth water! I will be making them soon. I love you blog and all the recipes! What a great thing you are doing!

    • November 15, 2011 9:21 pm

      Good to hear from you, Denise. Thanks, for your kind words…..I do love food!

  18. Cheryl Crawford permalink
    December 20, 2011 3:26 pm

    Good morning!
    I remember some beautiful Christmas cookies you made at the UC cafe years ago. They were covered with a light glaze and sprinkled with edible glitter (I think). Would you be willing to share the recipe for the glaze? They were almost too pretty to eat!


    • December 20, 2011 4:07 pm

      Hi Cheryl,

      Hmmm, what a question. I’ve used several but my favorite one is a Tablespoon of real butter, powdered sugar (1 cup?) and drops of very hot water to make it a glaze that levels off when spread on cookie. In other words, no knife marks. You will need to put the glitter or white nonpareils on before it sets completely but if added to early, they will sink in the glaze. If I remember right, I usually used regular white frosting to do some decor on the cookie once the glaze set and the sprinkles were added to that before the frosting crusted. This technique takes overnight to dry should you want to stack the cookies. So is that clear as mud? 😉 Wish we lived closer, it would be fun to help with the cookies. I’m not making any this year which is so sad but we have too many other fun stuff in it’s place. Hope you have a lovely Christmas!

  19. T.A.Lorren jr permalink
    August 12, 2013 8:14 pm

    Your whole wheat was so good and now I am out again,wonder how cinnamon rolls would do traveling thru the mail! Just mussing.Tommy u’r brother

    • August 12, 2013 10:46 pm

      Hmmmm, we can try! What flavor . . . cinnamon or fruit rolls?

  20. Jeanne permalink
    September 14, 2014 9:46 pm

    Have enjoyed following your comments and recipes on your website. Would definitely be interested in a copy of your cook book!

    • September 14, 2014 10:01 pm

      Hi Jeanne, it’s been a long time since way back when! I have kinda lost steam on the book. So close to my goal of 100 posts and thus doing a book. I even quit doing the stories and recipes for the newspaper. They went hand in hand. Oh well, I have most of my favorite stories written so I’m ok about it. Should I ever kick it up a notch, I’ll let you know! Good to hear from you. 🙂

  21. Whitney Simms permalink
    November 7, 2014 3:48 pm

    Hi Pat, I attended the Women’s Brunch last Sunday, November 2 at the Columbia SDA Church. Ami Hayse emailed me the link to your blog. All of the food your prepared was amazing and wanted to know if your would share your recipe for the egg casserole and also your blueberry scones with lavender jelly. i didn’t see them on your blog. Thank you so much!


    • November 7, 2014 5:02 pm

      Hi Whitney, the post is for Angel Scones. I just added dried blueberries to the mix. The lavendar jelly is also listed there. The Serbian Eggs I will have to send you via e-mail. I’ll do it soon! Glad you liked everything.

  22. Paperboy Mike permalink
    December 14, 2014 11:17 pm

    Yummy…then there is watermelon in a creek after a long day of hiking; potato salad, baked beans, linkettes on a bun (yuk); sticky buns with real butter/brown sugar/coconuts/pecan nuts; and burnt popcorn before playing tag or your it?

    • December 15, 2014 2:55 am

      Ah, we loved linketts at my house! 🙂

  23. Sharon Trujillo permalink
    March 14, 2015 6:51 am

    Hello Pat. I came across your coconut wheat stick recipe from Loma Linda market while desperately searching for the wheat or granola stick mixture from Pacific Union College.
    No one at PUC has that recipe and I can only hope you may have some ideas how I can find out
    I attended there for one quarter in 1973-1974, the transferred to LLU. The memories of the granola or wheat stick at PUC is enough for me to launch a search for its secret. They were different from LLU wheat stick.
    At this point, you are my only hope.

    • March 14, 2015 11:39 am

      Sorry, Sharon, I don’t remember the PUC wheat sticks. I lived there 1 year when I first got married. My, that is a long time ago. I hope you eventually find it, good luck!

  24. Sharon trujillo permalink
    March 15, 2015 3:22 pm

    Thank you Pat I will make the coconut wheat sticks instead. Your enthusiasm for cooking and food prep is contagious!

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